Improving Open-Source Information on African Politics, One Student at a Time

Improving Open-Source Information on African Politics, One Student at a Time

By Martha Wilfahrt, University of California, Berkeley and Kristin Michelitch, Vanderbilt University

This article discusses Wikipedia page creation as a fruitful assignment for undergraduate political science courses on the Global South. Based on our experience teaching African politics, we argue that assigning students to write a Wikipedia entry achieves twin objectives. First, it engages students in helping to close the significant gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage of politics in the Global South versus the Global North. Undergraduate students are highly motivated to address these disparities and are uniquely positioned to do so because of their access to gated scholarly resources, supervision by subject experts, and ability to “translate” academic sources into widely accessible language.

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